Monday, February 12, 2007

Inevitably, some commentators here see the noise-avoidance measures being considered in Tenerife as the beginning of the end of Spanish society. They remind me of my neighbour who responded to an opinion I voiced with the succinct line ‘No noise, no life’. One columnist has even suggested that, if restrictions are allowed, we’ll quickly end up with the ‘silence of the dead’. Or like Britain, perhaps. But I suspect the greatest fear is of Spain turning into Portugal.

As yesterday was a slow news day, I thought I’d wheel this out:-
I recently managed to get repayment from a low-cost airline of expenses incurred after a cancellation. It hardly matters which one since the following advice is surely relevant to all of them:-
Don’t accept their insistence that they don’t have to pay you. Refer them to the 2006 EU Directive.
Be patient and don’t give up in the face of their stalling tactics and downright lies. Persist. Specifically - Don’t accept comments like ‘We have no record of …’ or ‘There was nothing included with your letter.’
Keep copies of everything you send
Most importantly, never send the original receipts. This allows them to claim these never arrived, adding that their Terms and Conditions stipulate only copies are acceptable to them. Of course, if you never kept a copy and the originals have strangely gone astray, you can’t then send them the copies they need to process your ‘accepted’ claim. Strange that, isn’t it.

Galicia Facts

After yesterday’s fiesta of cocido in Lalín, the next big gastronomic event of our year is this weekend’s fiesta of lacon con grelos in Cuntis. Yes, Cuntis. This prized dish comprises a pig’s knee joint or shoulder with turnip tops. As with said cocido, I find I’m quite capable of giving it a miss. But I’m sure they’ll both grow on me in due course. If I live long enough.

The imminence of Lent brings with it Entroido festivals throughout Galicia, the biggest perhaps being up in Verín and Xinzo de Limia. These feature masked men and women dressed up in highly colourful, mummer-type costumes of varying local designs. Sometimes, as on the streets of Pontevedra last night, the masks are black, so that the mummers look like a cross between the Black and White Minstrels and English Morris dancers. Technically, this would justify them being shot on two separate counts but, happily, they’re left alone to prance around the town, bringing joy to us all.

For those who want to know more about Entroido, here’s a useful intro.

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